Shares in Zynga, the developer behind Facebook’s popular games Farmville and Mafia Wars, have fallen as much as 40 per cent.
The company has reported a net loss of $108 million (£70 million) for the first six months of the year.
Last year it seemed that Zynga was unstoppable, it had a profit of $18 million for the first half of 2011, then went on to buy the popular Pictionary-esque game Draw Something from OMGPOP for $200 million.
Zynga’s games account for around 15 per cent of Facebook’s revenue, with Farmville being the most popular. The games are free to play, but dedicated gamers can purchase virtual goods with real money.
The money made selling these virtual goods in Farmville and Zynga’s other games fell by ten per cent.
Zynga’s CEO John Schappert was quick to blame Facebook for its losses, saying changes to the site made it harder for users to find existing games: “These changes favoured new games. Our users did not remain as engaged and did not come back as often.”
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